What I’ve Learned so Far

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, a park that had originally been a memorial for Nancy Hanks Lincoln, is now also standing to commemorate Lincoln’s youth and the 14 years that he spent here in Indiana. For this blog, I will talk about the things I learned about Lincoln and the park itself. While at first it might seem like the park doesn’t have much to offer, when you get to talk to the people and hear them talk about Lincoln and watch the park film, you begin to understand why this park is here. It is overflowing with valuable knowledge. While many people think that Lincoln was born in Illinois, here I learned that he was actually born in Kentucky, but later moved with his family to Indiana because of property disputes. That is how seven-year-old Lincoln arrived in Indiana and spent the next 14 years of his life. Here in Indiana, he had to help his father chop down trees with an ax to reach his father’s farm. His father Thomas Lincoln was a carpenter and his mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln was someone Abraham Lincoln loved dearly. She was a big part of his education and his character as well as his father. Neither his parents believed in slavery and thus, Lincoln grew up with those morals. His mother Nancy Hanks, however, died two years after they arrived in Indiana.

She died from milk sickness, which happened when people consumed milk from a cow that had eaten the white snake root. She died at the age of 35 when Lincoln was only nine years old. After that his father remarried a widow from Kentucky named Sarah Bush Lincoln, who was known by Sally, since Abraham Lincoln’s sister’s name was also Sarah. Sarah herself eventually also ended up passing while giving birth to her first child. It is said that she was buried with her baby boy in her arms. Her body, however, is not in the Pioneer cemetery like Nancy Hanks Lincoln, but is instead buried in the Little Pigeon Creek cemetery in the state park across the street from this park. That is a bit of the background that I learned while being in the park these past few weeks. I’ve picked this information up mostly from hearing my coworkers speaking to visitors and when we had school fieldtrips to the park. I think the 14 years that Abraham Lincoln lived here were full of ups and downs, but that those moments greatly impacted his choice to become a president.  

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